“Trout in Chilean Rivers” by Alexander MacDonald
This non-fiction book was first written in 1940 but could not be published in wartime conditions because paper was scarce, and minds were not on leisure pursuits. It was revised in the early 1950s. The author's love of the sport of fishing and of his adopted country Chile shines through the book, along with his gentle humour. It was his hope and intention to introduce the wonderful fly fishing in Chile to an English-reading audience. Now at last this fine book is published. The editor has added a brief biography of the author, footnotes and a preface, but otherwise the manuscript is as it was in 1952.
“Trout in Chilean Rivers” was written in a more peaceful age before the advent of intensive
commercial air travel, sophisticated hotels, mobile phones and all our modern aids. Even colour
photography was in its infancy. It was intended as a guide to fly fishermen visiting Chile and the author’s wish to share his enthusiasm for the sport with others is obvious. He revised the book in 1952 and his widow returned to England bringing the manuscript and accompanying photographs and maps to hand on to their daughter and family.
Alexander MacDonald had an abiding love for his native Scotland and for his adopted country, Chile, and its people, among whom he had many friends.
They regarded him as the epitome of a gentleman, which he was. Moreover, he was a gentle man with a delightful sense of humour and a great record of public service. He and his contemporaries did much to foster Anglo-Chilean relations in their day.
Notes from Ian Ruxton, Editor and grandson of Alex MacDonald
The author Alexander MacDonald was my maternal grandfather from Glasgow. He suffered a gas attack in France during the First World War fighting in the Seaforth Highlanders, which is why after the war he could not live in his beloved homeland of Scotland - the climate was too damp. Thus, he went as a qualified Scottish accountant to South America, first to Peru and then to Chile which he fell in love with. He had a wonderful life there, playing golf (and assisting with the design of golf courses) and trout fishing. This book records his passion for the latter pursuit, and his desire to promote the excellent trout fishing in his adopted country to the wider world. When I transcribed the typewritten manuscript, I was delighted and felt enormously privileged to learn more about my grandfather who died in 1954, and whom I never had the chance to meet, since I was born in 1956.
Ian has kindly shared with us the PDF version of the book
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